Birthday party mass shooting ‘something that no community should have to endure’ Alabama police chief says
Published 11:19 am Sunday, April 16, 2023
Four people have been killed and multiple people injured during a shooting at a birthday party Saturday night in Dadeville, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said.
The shooting happened at the birthday party around 10:30 p.m., Sgt. Jeremy Burkett of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said. There was no initial confirmation about what led to the shooting. It was not immediately known if a suspect was in custody.
“There were four lives tragically lost in this incident and there’s been a multitude of injuries,” Burkett said during a news conference Sunday morning.
The shootings rocked the small city of 3,200. Dadeville Chief Jonathan L. Floyd paused to regain his composure before speaking at the news conference.
“What we’ve dealt with is something that no community should have to endure. I just ask for your patience. It’s going to be a long process, but I do earnestly solicit your prayers,” Floyd said.
Pastor Ben Hayes, who serves as the chaplain for the Dadeville Police Department and for the local high school football team, said most of the victims are teenagers because the shooting occurred at a birthday party for a 16-year-old. He said the shooting has rocked the small town where serious crime is rare.
“One of the young men that was killed was one of our star athletes and just a great guy. So I knew many of these students. Dadeville is a small town and this is going to affect everybody in this area,” Hayes said.
The Tallapoosa County school system said counseling will be available for students at the schools Monday, the school superintendent, Raymond C. Porter, said.
WRBL-TV reported that the shooting happened at a dance studio. The station showed images of crime scene tape around the Mahogany Masterpiece Dance Studio and neighboring buildings and a heavy police presence.
“This morning, I grieve with the people of Dadeville and my fellow Alabamians. Violent crime has NO place in our state, and we are staying closely updated by law enforcement as details emerge,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement posted on social media.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting, the White House said, adding that it is closely monitoring the situation and has been in touch with local officials and law enforcement to offer support.
Dadeville is in east Alabama, about 57 miles (92 kilometers) northeast of Montgomery, Alabama.